Jair Benitez has been battling left knee tendonitis for much of April

When FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman didn’t start Jair Benitez at left back in a 2-1 win over Montreal on April 14 at FC Dallas Stadium and when Benitez didn’t even travel with the team for a 1-0 road loss at Vancouver on Saturday night at BC Place, some wondered if the Colombian defender had found his way into Hyndman’s doghouse.

But any such conclusions were premature to say the least. That’s because Benitez has been bothered by tendonitis in his left knee for much of April. He had his left knee wrapped during practice on Monday but did go through drills with no issue.

“He picked up a little bit of a knock in the knee and it was bothering him a little bit. I think he was only about 80 percent and I didn’t want to take a player that was 80 percent because more than likely as coaches we go to that player and ask him to play,” Hyndman said of the injury. “It gave him a weekend off for recovery. Hopefully tomorrow we can get a final OK with him.”

Benitez remembers exactly when his knee became an issue this season. “Before New England, I started feeling pain but I was suspended for that game, so I got treatment,” he said through a translator. “But the pain started getting worse, which is why I missed some games.”

However, he also remembers the origins of his current injury, something which dates back to last season. “I’ve been having the tendonitis since I hit El Gato [Kevin Hartman] last year, that hit with Kevin,” Benitez recalled. “Since then, I’ve been having problems with that tendonitis.”

So, how does one cure tendonitis? It’s actually pretty simple.

“Therapy and also rest [is what helps]. I’m getting better. I’m still dealing with the pain, but I hope to be ready for Wednesday,” Benitez said.

He had appeared in four games prior to the injury but could return on Wednesday night against Real Salt Lake. If not, he figures to be a real possibility for Saturday’s trip to Los Angeles.